What’s more frightening than a teenage girl with a new driver’s license? A teen girl with a license and a smartphone, says the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In a recent study on new drivers, it found that young women were twice as likely to whip out their devices while driving than the boys.
The organization filmed 50 North Carolina families to observe the teens’ behavior as they went from supervised to independent driving. The researchers discovered distracted driving in 15 percent of the recordings and that mobile devices were the biggest cause of it.
In addition, teenage girls were:
- 10 percent more likely to be distracted while driving
- 25 percent more likely to eat or drink a beverage while driving
- 50 percent more likely to reach for something in the car while driving
Not that teen boys were totally off the hook here. They were found to be more likely to turn around in their seats to talk with people.
While a group of 50 cases isn’t exactly indicative of an entire generation, truth is, these results aren’t all that surprising. Of course, incidences of distracted driving dropped when an adult was present, and horseplay obviously rose with the addition of more teens in the vehicle.
What was kind of striking, however, is that the horseplay only made drivers twice as likely to get into an accident or require emergency measures. But drivers engaged in loud conversations? They were six times more likely.